Susan Rancer - About

About Susan Rancer

"As a person with perfect pitch, I know the struggles that many of my clients experience. I too was turned off to reading music in my early years. In my mind, I recorded a piece of music in my head and played it with perfection. Thus, repetitive rote instruction merely interfered with my progress."

I am a registered music therapist in Piedmont, California who has been in practice for more than 35 years. My specialties are teaching piano, guitar and violin to special needs students, though I also engage them in music therapy activities if unable to learn an instrument. As a person with perfect pitch, I was taught by teachers who never fully grasped my ability. By analyzing my own poor experiences with teachers I began to understand what it took to be a successful music therapist and instructor.

Graduating from Eastern New Mexico University with a bachelor's degree in music therapy in 1974, I now teach 50 special needs clients, of which 30 have perfect pitch, including a few savants. My goal is to focus on the ability rather than the disability. It is a philosophy that sets me apart from many other teachers and music therapists. By searching for the innate gifts of the students, hidden and unexpected talents are often discovered. In addition to teaching, I also serve as music director for a local Jewish preschool and synagogue.

You may reach Susan Rancer by phone at 510-654-5882 or by e-mail at